January 2, 2022

Why Do I Feel like an Outsider?

Nishi Chodimella

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Letterpress on PaperMirror Thoughts, 2021

I made ‘Mirror thoughts’ to talk about the unspoken frustrations of being third cultured. I was tired of my brain being flooded with intrusive thoughts when I was trying to embrace my Indian heritage by incorporating Indian fashion into my everyday wear, or when I wore a Bindi casually. I am Indian. But when I start to talk about my cultural background I confuse people, and sometimes upset them for not being Indian enough. Learning to embrace every aspect of my multicultural background has been the hardest, bravest, and most enriching journey I have embarked on. I have learnt not to hide or conceal my identity to please others, but to be myself unconditionally. I made this print to let go of the fears I have, to get reassurance from other people like me, as I know I am not alone with these thoughts. I chose letterpress printing as I wanted my thoughts to be the artwork and have all the emphasis on the words. I overprinted them to highlight how consuming and overwhelming these thoughts are in my mind. How they hit me all at once when I look in a mirror.